The two parties, Rashtriya Janata Party Nepal and the Samajbadi Party Nepal started to once again raise their demands constitutional amendments registered a private amendment bill of their own at the Parliament Secretariat.
Rajendra Shrestha, co-chair of the Samajbadi Party, disclosed, “We have registered a joint constitution amendment bill seeking amendments on 23 different issues.”
Their demands remain the same:
· amendments to provisions related to language,
· proportional representation,
· formation of autonomous regions,
· protected regions and non-geographical special regions,
· an expanded role for the deputy speaker in the absence of the Speaker as well as a change in the governance system with directly elected President, among others.
However, on Friday, the proposal by Janata Party’s to register the bill had been rejected by the Parliament Secretariat, reasoning it needed to consult with the Speaker.
As per leaders, the amendment proposal will create pressure on the ruling party to look into the concerns raised by different sections of society which also includes Madhesis, Janajatis, and Tharus.
So far, the two parties have not objected to the government’s amendment proposal but looking for a package deal so that their concerns are united into the amendment bill.
Karna, the Janata Party chief whip, informed, “If the ruling party does not support our bill, we can also ask why we should support theirs. The private bill that the main opposition Nepali Congress is going to register will create further pressure on the ruling party.”
Rajendra Mahato, a leader in the six-member presidium of the Janata Party, further said, “the question is not whether the government’s amendment bill will go through but how the parties will address their long-standing demands for constitution amendment.”
People are giving their opinion on the amendment proposal- some says, it is a bargaining chip as they cannot block the government’s amendment bill and some say their proposal carries symbolic value.
Hence, said CK Lal, a political commentator asserted, “The government’s amendment proposal shows that the ruling party can amend whatever they like and whenever they want, but they won’t consider longstanding concerns that people have sacrificed their lives for.”